Days 10.5 and 11

The drive from Libby to East Glacier was very scenic and enjoyable, and we pulled into our motel around dinner time.  After checking into a very quaint mom and pop motel where pop was a bit overwhelmed and befuddled, we headed downtown to find some food.  We were surprised, in such a little tiny place, with few food options, to find a wonderful little Mexican restaurant.  The food and drink were both wonderful and I got to enjoy the special of the night…buffalo tacos.  We made our plans for the next day, which included heading into Glacier National Park bright and early to try to avoid some of the traffic we had been hearing so much about.  So we quietly sneaked out of our room, leaving the 20 or so other motorcycle riders sleeping in their beds.  The road from East Glacier to the park was an incredible ride all by itself…twisting and turning and awesome!  Once we arrived at the park, we were too early for the entrance gates to be manned. They had an honor system where you put your info and cash in an envelope and shoved it in a box.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have any cash with us (well, in reality Dale always has an emergency 20 on the bike, but forgot all about it until much later!), so we went into the visitor center there and tried to find an ATM.  No luck.  Finally one of the girls at the desk told us to just write our credit card info on the envelope and stick it in the box…very trusting people.  So we were back on the bike and on our way into the park.  We drove the Going to the Sun road from east to west, turned around and drove it back from west to east.  It was breathtaking!  I have never seen so many waterfalls, wildflowers and beautiful vegetation, incredible rock formations, not to mention steep drop offs, crazy curves, and narrow bridges.  It was really great riding it in both directions because the things we caught sight of, but didn’t fully see because they were kind of up and behind us on the way down, we could fully see on the way back up. Incredible!  We did beat most of the traffic, but it was definitely picking up on our second pass, and the trail head and ranger station parking were full by 8:00 am in most locations. Having a motorcycle is an advantage in that situation, and as we neared the parking lot for a cool hike we wanted to take, we managed to squeeze in on the side where no car could have possibly fit.  We got out of our gear and hiked to St. Mary Falls, and then on to Virginia Falls.  The 3.6 mile hike was just what we needed to stretch our legs after so much sitting and riding the previous few days.  The scenery was, again, incredible, and the falls were amazing.  From St. Mary Falls to Virginia Falls we actually passed many other waterfalls that we weren’t even expecting.  It was a hot day, and when we reached Virginia Falls, the best thing to do was stand below it and feel the wind and mist it was generating hit you…it felt awesome!  After the hike, which ended with a very steep uphill climb, I realized that my stupid foot problem was going to prevent us from hiking anything else.  We found a shady pull off and had a picnic lunch and then took the great ride back to East Glacier.  We found some super salads for supper from a local diner, reorganized our stuff, packed everything up, and went to bed, anticipating what would be our longest day of driving yet.  We made a change to our itinerary since hiking was out of the question.  We decided to leave Glacier a day early and drive all the way to Rapid City, SD so we could do some riding there before heading for home.  I was super excited for the rides we could take there, having been there many times growing up and remembering so many of the sights fondly.  One last adventure before the end of the trip!

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